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Don't know how I missed this, but Kalu at 505 E. 6th Street was just named one of the top new U.S. restaurants of 2010 by Esquire magazine. Pretty impressive honor! I've been there a few times (they FINALLY added valet parking) and the food is spectacular. Service was lacking a tad, but the meals certainly more than make up for it.

Esquire's Best New Restaurants 2010

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Just read the review in the entertainment section of the observer. Cold mashed potatoes, under cooked chicken and over cooked omelet. And a tiny milkshake. That was about my experience except our chicken was way overdone.

I don't know - I think you may have just had a bad experience. I went there last night and it was packed, and my experience was pretty much the exact opposite of what you described. I ordered the country fried steak, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Everything was homemade - the green beans were exceptionally good, the country fried steak was hand-breaded, and the mashed potatoes were the real deal. The food quite tasty and came out very quick, the wait staff was great, and we met one of the owners as well who was a very genuine guy that seemed to really care about the place. I have no complaints at all about my experience there...you should give it another shot.

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Don't know how I missed this, but Kalu at 505 E. 6th Street was just named one of the top new U.S. restaurants of 2010 by Esquire magazine. Pretty impressive honor! I've been there a few times (they FINALLY added valet parking) and the food is spectacular. Service was lacking a tad, but the meals certainly more than make up for it.

Esquire's Best New Restaurants 2010

Where did this place come from? I have never heard a mention of it before! I am excited to check it out, though I can't honestly picture what building this place is in, even though I looked up the address on a map.

I am glad to see a restaurant in Charlotte recognized in a magazine like this. I was so disappointed a couple months ago when Food + Wine magazine had a focus on restaurants in the south (pretty much the entire magazine was focused on recipes and eateries in the south). But not a single mention of anything in or from Charlotte - they featured multiple restaurants and/or recipes from chefs in Birmingham, Atlanta, Raleigh, Savannah, Jackson, Chapel Hill, Durham, Charleston (ok...duh!), and also featured restaurants in many smaller cities. But not one mention of anything in Charlotte.

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Just read the review in the entertainment section of the observer. Cold mashed potatoes, under cooked chicken and over cooked omelet. And a tiny milkshake. That was about my experience except our chicken was way overdone.

I've seen so many negative reviews here and elsewhere, so I can't say that I am surprised, even though it was great when I went. Maybe I just had an abnormally good experience. I will certainly try it again, and will post a second opinion when I do.

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I've seen so many negative reviews here and elsewhere, so I can't say that I am surprised, even though it was great when I went. Maybe I just had an abnormally good experience. I will certainly try it again, and will post a second opinion when I do.

I liked it quite a bit, much better than my food at Mattie's (but I seem to be one of the few people who had a bad experience there)

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Kickstand Burgers n Bar has opened in the former Common House space on Central Ave. Looks much more appealing to me now. I'll have to check it out soon.

http://www.360charlotte.com/Restaurants/KickstandBurgersNBar.html

Me and a friend had lunch at Kickstand yesterday (formerly Common House). I liked the bicycle theme and the individual LCD's at each booth was a nice touch for the sports enthusiasts. We both ordered a bacon cheeseburger with fries. Although the fries were from the frozen variety, they weren't bad. Not the typical tasting frozen fries. I prefer fresh cut though, like many other restaurants do (my favorite fries are Thomas St Tavern). The burger was very good, and I loved the burger bun. I'm sure I'll go back in due time but honestly, nothing wowed me to the point where I must go back soon. There was a decent crowd in the place but Loco Lime seemed to be busier.

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Where did this place come from? I have never heard a mention of it before! I am excited to check it out, though I can't honestly picture what building this place is in, even though I looked up the address on a map.

It's the ground floor/retail level of the Courtside condo building. The parking valets are on the corner of 6th & Caldwell.

Head Chef Brian Emperor is pretty well known, he was on Bravo's "Top Chef" U.S. tour earlier this year. Here are some links...

And here is the Observer link:

Charlotte eatery makes magazine's top-20 list

Edited by SmellyCat
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Kalu is unbelievable. Go there now. I went with my lady and we enjoyed some porkbellies, wagyu beef, japanese style wings, a sushi roll, and a garlic rice pot. The rice was the best quality I have had in Charlotte. It can get expensive if you're drinking, but the specialty cocktails and beers are impressive.

Brian was a really nice guy and we had a chance to chat with him since we were there late towards closing. He even brought us some plum wine or sake....can't remember exactly.

The presentation is awesome and the service was good.

Definitely going back soon.

It's the ground floor/retail level of the Courtside condo building. The parking valets are on the corner of 6th & Caldwell.

Head Chef Brian Emperor is pretty well known, he was on Bravo's "Top Chef" U.S. tour earlier this year. Here are some links...

And here is the Observer link:

Charlotte eatery makes magazine's top-20 list

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I hear that Pinky's Westside Grill is open for lunch today

A couple of friends and I went there for lunch. Unfortunately, even giving them a lot of leeway for being newly opened and working out "the kinks," I was completely disappointed. They seemed understaffed, the atmosphere was nothing special, and the food was unimpressive. I got the "award winning" pterodactyl burger, and on the Charlotte burger scale it barely rates an average. And Chick-fil-a has better waffle fries. I wish them luck, but they didn't really give me a reason to go back.

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I ate there tonight. Lots of wait staff who were very nice. It took forever to get served and the food was horrible. I mean inedible. I give it 6 months max. The only thing going for it was that it was open late. So is my own kitchen.

Add me to the list of those who have had less-than-pleasant experiences at Midnight Diner, and I've given it two chances already. The first time the waitress dropped our breakfast plates all over the floor right in front of us so then we had to wait especially long to get our orders. And I mean the wait was downright ridiculous to the point we almost walked out. They didn't even offer to comp anything - not even juice or coffee.

The second time I ordered three things (eggs, toast and grapefruit) and the waitress forgot to bring two of them. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to endure another long wait. The bill came and all three items were on the bill anyway. Unreal.

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Interesting, I had a horrible experience at Mattie's, which everyone else seems to love, and had a great experience at Midnight, which seems to have had more problems.

A couple of friends and I went there for lunch. Unfortunately, even giving them a lot of leeway for being newly opened and working out "the kinks," I was completely disappointed. They seemed understaffed, the atmosphere was nothing special, and the food was unimpressive. I got the "award winning" pterodactyl burger, and on the Charlotte burger scale it barely rates an average. And Chick-fil-a has better waffle fries. I wish them luck, but they didn't really give me a reason to go back.

I tried Pinky's yesterday at lunch and was very satisfied if not impressed. I like the vibe of the place (not as dive-y as Penguin, but pretty funky, Tom & Jerry playing on the flat screen instead of sports), and my food was really good and cheap. My burger ALMOST stacked up to a Penguin burger...better toppings but the beef was a little dry. Great fried squash and the pickles are just how you'd expect.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay, this BARELY qualifies for this thread, but I just wanted to put a plug in for Olde Meck Brewery. I only get to go there every couple months, and I can't get enough of this place. It gets better every time I'm in, and now they have signs up saying they are starting a kitchen. The menu preview had bratwurst, dogs, kraut, and a few sides. Sounds perfect. They continue to keep things simple, classy, and professional. Oh, and they currently have a Bauern Bock, which is a country bock made for Thanksgiving. Very tasty. The Yule Bock debuts in 2 days.

Edited by grodney
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^ That's great news about Olde Meck brewery... I'm a huge fan of their beer and have been hoping they would do something to add food. Keeping it simple is definitely the way to go IMO too. During the summer I usualy stop by there a couple times a month. I'll have to get my growlers refilled with that Yule Bock! :alc:

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A couple of friends and I went there for lunch. Unfortunately, even giving them a lot of leeway for being newly opened and working out "the kinks," I was completely disappointed. They seemed understaffed, the atmosphere was nothing special, and the food was unimpressive. I got the "award winning" pterodactyl burger, and on the Charlotte burger scale it barely rates an average. And Chick-fil-a has better waffle fries. I wish them luck, but they didn't really give me a reason to go back.

Just back from Pinky's. I had the sloppy joe (which was fine) and my dining companion had a cheeseburger which she reported as 'great' (but she has the pallet of a 7 year old). Overall the food was solid -- pretty much the same quality as the Penguin (from my point of view, others will no doubt disagree). Beer was cheap, the service was good, the waitress was hot and they have an old school video game.

The best thing about Pinky's was that its a very pleasant place to drink a beer or two and hang out. It was busy enough on a Tuesday night that I think it will really kickstart the gentrification of Berryhill / West Morehead. One more bar over there and the neighborhood will become a destination of sorts.

I can see how it might be less desirable at lunch.

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Just back from Pinky's. I had the sloppy joe (which was fine) and my dining companion had a cheeseburger which she reported as 'great' (but she has the pallet of a 7 year old). Overall the food was solid -- pretty much the same quality as the Penguin (from my point of view, others will no doubt disagree). Beer was cheap, the service was good, the waitress was hot and they have an old school video game.

The best thing about Pinky's was that its a very pleasant place to drink a beer or two and hang out. It was busy enough on a Tuesday night that I think it will really kickstart the gentrification of Berryhill / West Morehead. One more bar over there and the neighborhood will become a destination of sorts.

I can see how it might be less desirable at lunch.

I am looking forward to lunch on Thursday, which will be my first experience there. I am excited to see this area revitalized...with The Burger Company, Pinky's, Savor, and of course the Open Kitchen (ok...so that's not new), this could turn into a great new district. I just wish it would spread more towards uptown into all of those fantastic old factory buildings instead of the other way.

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I am looking forward to lunch on Thursday, which will be my first experience there. I am excited to see this area revitalized...with The Burger Company, Pinky's, Savor, and of course the Open Kitchen (ok...so that's not new), this could turn into a great new district. I just wish it would spread more towards uptown into all of those fantastic old factory buildings instead of the other way.

The 2 buildings closest to I-77 on the south side of the street are starting to be restored. Most of it is cut out for more office space, but the former Tattoo/Coffee shop has some obvious retail potential (like...a coffee shop?). I've just this week seen the back door open and think they're going to get started on it soon.

I work in the neighborhood and have seen it come a long way in the short 2 years since we moved our office there! The new Wesley Village apartments at the Freedom Drive side of the neighborhood seem to be doing surprisingly well and are WAY nicer than I expected, so there should be that many more loyal customers for these places. It makes me wonder if the 2nd phase of Skybridge might get built now.

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We also ate there this week just prior to the rainstorm... Food was "ok" as my wife & I split a Ding Dong Chicken and a pita sandwich. Beer was served nice & cold by a very attentive staff...

We were seated in what were the old car bays, a bit more drafty and colder than the main section.. but tolerable. Biggest issue was parking. We were not aware of the overflow lot across Morehead and had to make a couple of circles to get there. I would suggest that Pinky's strike a deal with the owners of the overflow lot to have some lit signage noting additional parking for the restaurant. Second worst problem is pedestrian safety. Lots of traffic going in all directions setting up for a sad ending to a nice evening out...

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Has anyone tried Cowfish yet? I think it just opened about a week ago - it replaced The Counter burger place and they also expanded into the space which was formerly the Grape I think. Anyway, went there tonight for the first time and was quite impressed. The menu selection is gigantic. I had sushi while my better half had a combination of burger sliders and some sushi. At first I thought the concept seemed bizarre, but somehow they make it work. The sushi was really good and the decor both fun and ecclectic. Service was OUTSTANDING, which is so rare for Charlotte these days so it seems (sign of an improving economy perhaps?). Also the beer and drink selection was very good too.

Anyway, I recommend giving it a try, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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My girlfriend and I tried Halcyon at the Mint for lunch yesterday. WOW. Absolutely incredible food, great views and interesting space, and really reasonable prices and portions. I've never seen the "farm to fork" thing taken to heart quite so much, they'll even tell you which farms the varieties of butter come from.

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I went to pinkys with a friend on saturday. Thought parking would be an issue but they were not that busy which was surprising @ 830. Had the vegan chili which I liked and a fish sandwich it was ok but it's hard to make that too memorable. My friend had a burger which he said was good but not great. The service was fine and the interior is cool.

Overall it was an average experience, but I was not expecting a great meal to begin with. The place seems geared to provide decent grub and a place to watch a game. Nothing more nothing less and it accomplishes the goal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anyone know anything about "Sauceman's" Looks like they are close to opening up. It says Pizza & BB Grill on their awnings. Corner of West @ Tryon.

Finally tried out Sauceman's. I wasn't too enthralled with my french dip, but everyone else seemed to enjoy their menu selections. They did hand out these sweet biscuits that were stupid good. Overall, I think a pretty decent addition to the area.

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